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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Hawks Take on Steaks

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ILLUSTRATION: CASEY WOOD ’23/THE HAWK

Cheesesteaks are a staple in the city of Philadelphia, and so is the endless debate about where to get the best one. We researched a variety of local Philadelphia magazines, news outlets and recommendations from Philadelphia natives to identify the top cheesesteaks shops in the city. 

This week, we visited the one and only Woodrow’s Sandwich Shop located on, what could be considered the epicenter of the cheesesteak world, South Street. Woodrow’s Shop is known for their famous homemade cheese whiz and has made a name for itself with its unique flavors. This personalized twist bolstered Woodrow’s among the ranks of the most established and well-known sandwich shops in the city. 

Like many other famous spots in Philly, Woodrow’s builds their cheesesteak with their own specific touch. Not only do they make their own cheese whiz, but this is the only shop we have visited so far that offers truffle cheese whiz. Additionally, Woodrow’s offers a special cherry pepper mayo. All three of these elements serve as fan favorites to Woodrow’s regulars and provide an even more exciting twist for the customer.

Upon arriving at the restaurant’s door, the pride and individuality of the truffle cheese whiz is clear. The front of the shop was swarmed with loyal Woodrow’s customers, all seeking the same unique cheesesteak taste. 

Woodrow’s is located on South Street. PHOTO COURTESY OF NICK VAGNOZZI ’22

When ordering a Woodrow’s cheesesteak, one should do so in the Woodrow’s signature style, with their truffle cheese whiz, cherry pepper mayo and fried onions. Unlike many other shops, there is not an option of picking your cheese preference. 

The combination and flavors of these revolutionary characteristics puts this cheesesteak stand in a category of its own. The truffle whiz had a very distinct taste, one which could be described as sharp in taste but smooth in texture, proving its vast contrast from other steaks in the city. The cheese, along with the cherry pepper mayo, brought a different sight with white cheese whiz instead of the unique yellow whiz we’re accustomed to. Additionally, the bun was fine, but nothing to really talk about. Both from a flavor and texture standpoint, it was very similar to the average hoagie roll. 

Amazing whiz aside, this sandwich did have a few flaws. The cherry pepper mayo was supposed to be a strong flavor, but ultimately couldn’t be tasted because the flavor of the cheese whiz was overpowering. Additionally, the steak itself was slightly overcooked, causing a chewy texture. Although the great cheese and simple roll did their best to make up for them, these flaws proved to be very glaring downfalls. 

While these mediocre qualities of the sandwich will hold this steak back from cracking the upper echelon of Philadelphia’s glorious cheesesteak hierarchy, this cheesesteak will still hold its own on our list as one of the city’s elite steak shops. 

Rating: 8.3 steaks out of 10

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